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Starwood creates new head of hotels… and other International hotel news

31 July 2006

Starwood creates new head of hotels
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has appointed Matt Ouimet to the new position of president of the hotel group. Ouimet, has been with the Walt Disney Company for the past 17 years, most recently as president of the Disneyland Resort. Ouimet will oversee hotel operations worldwide for the company's 850 hotels under nine brands in 95 countries.

Moscow Ritz Carlton refinances
The Ritz Carlton in Moscow

InterContinental to go into Libya
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has singed a deal with Magna holdings for a hotel in Libya's capital city, Tripoli. The 300-bed property will also include 26 serviced apartments and is due to open in early 2009. IHG will also operate the neighbouring Al Waddan hotel on an unbranded basis when it reopens in early 2007. The hotel is another step towards IHG's goal of adding 50,000-60,000 rooms by the end of 2008.

Marriott goes non-smoking
Marriott is making all its hotel and lodging brands in the USA and Canada non-smoking from September. The policy will affect 2,300 hotels and corporate apartments and nearly 400,000 guest rooms under the Marriott, JW Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn, TownPlace Suites and Marriott ExecuStay brands. It will affect all guest rooms, restaurants, lounges, meeting rooms, public spaces and staff work areas.

Hyatt to expand residential spa concept
Hyatt is expanding its purpose-built spa guestroom concept following the success of the inaugural spa at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. The first properties to take part in the roll out will be the Washington and Buenos Aires hotels, with Beijing and Shanghai due in 2007. The rooms include wet and dry in-room treatments, a bathroom that takes up at least a third of the room as well as rain showers, treatment benches and deep soaking tubs.

Kempinski moves into Central Asia
Kempinski has signed an agreement with Kazakhstan's leading real estate developer, Okan Holding to manage new luxury hotels in Central Asia. A 230-room hotel in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, will be part of a luxury complex which will include a conference centre, ballroom and several restaurants and is due to open in 2008. One in Astana, Kazakhstan's capital, will be located in a futuristic tower mixed with private residences. Kempinski is also due to open a 250 room property with 300 apartments and 90 villas in Croatia in 2009.

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